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Old 04-24-2005   #11
Marine Biologist
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 90
Although I have an AIRE lynx II and am therefore biased, I recommend getting this IK. It is big enough that two 200 lb guys can float calm water without sitting constantly in 2" of wet, somethng that is a problem with most duckies. Here's a pretty extensive site with info about many popular brands (excluding Vanguard) and applicable reviews. Have fun!

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Old 04-24-2005   #12
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I don't have much info on IK's, but I've had Aire cat tubes for about 8 years and I haven't had any problems with grit wearing out the tubes. I had to replace a valve once, and the bladder system made that pretty easy. I think it's a pretty bomber system, but some might argue that the outer PVC hull is more susceptible to wear and tear. One thing for sure- you can repair a tear or puncture pretty quick on the river with an Aire repair kit.

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Old 04-24-2005   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 43
hi. we've had several inflatables in the family as my boys progressed in their boating skills and for friends to use on float trips etc. here's my 2 cents worth. spend the extra money. your whole day can be killed constantly pumping up a cheap boat that springs a leak. comfort, stability, the fun factor all figure in. people who use inflatables need a positive experience to enhance their future river love.

in my opinion an aire lynx is about the best you can buy. strong, stable, hard, comfortable, good valves and worth the extra bucks. as close to a hardshell in performance as you can get in an open boat. i like the bladder system. we've had people with no river experience do just fine going down the san juan and deso and parts of the colorado.

we've had a nrs maver2k for many seasons. it's okay. small tubes make it a wet ride and for some reason folks who paddle it just don't take to it. it repairs easy, the valves are good. it’s a great downriver craft. lots of commercial outfitters use them though.

before he developed a bomber roll my older boy used a sevlor riverX. they come with pegs, thigh straps, etc. for the money it's a good deal. we picked ours up for around $300. but, we've also had leaky valve problems, one bad bladder they required a full boat replacement, and they skin up easy. i think they have to much keel but they do paddle well on the flats. it’s not a long term investment. as someone posted, the valves leave much to be desired. very stiff if you can keep the air in it. surfs well, maneuvers good, hard enough to punch big stuff. but they are nothing close to an aire.

some friends of ours used two different boats on long trips, and they loved the hyside 1k. big tubes. stable. stiff. comfortable. on another trip they used a jacks plastic something or other and didn't cotton to it at all. in the hyside they ran westwater with style. in the jacks they swam skull. which isn't running down jpw. i have one of their cats and love it.

there u go.
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Old 04-25-2005   #14
looking buisy
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 70
Thanks for all the great feedback. After what I heard hear about the riverx i decided to go with stearns IK116 1 person. Yeah its a cheepie (retail $479.00) I hope it's not a bathtub like the sevylor. I got a reasonable deal $369.00 no sales tax free ship from outback outfitters in MN. If my friends can run some class III safely then I'll consider it money well spent,and if I like inflatables as much as i love hard shells Im sure Ill have 5 of them this time next year.LOL
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Old 04-25-2005   #15
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 6
Not that I can offer much, just thought I'd pipe in with my 2 cents. I think you will be happy with what you bought. I myself have the Stearns IK 116-SB, the open face self bailing model, and its great.

I just started in this sport, and I took this boat down Clear Creek from Idaho Springs to Kermits (class II - III or so). The run is alot of fun, and the boat held up well. My only complaint is that later in the season when the flows were really up, the self bailing feature couldn't keep up with all the water, and I would end up swamped a bit. Though, with the model you purchased you probably will not have as much of a problem as I did as yours seems to have a bit more enclosed cockpit.

Good luck!


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